Sandler O’Neill & Partner is among the companies that suffered heavy loss during the September 11, 2011 attack on World Trade Center. The company was located on the 104th floor of the building and they were in full operation around the time the World Trade Center, New York, was attacked. The company is actually an investment bank.
The bank lost 66 of its members of staff to the attack. The 66 could not be rescued before the building went down. The bank however did not leave the family members of these 66 men and women alone; a foundation was set up by the bank to cater for the kids left behind by their lost colleagues. Purpose of the foundation was to pay for the kids’ tuition fees. These fallen colleagues left total of 76 children behind and all these 76 children are provided for by the foundation.
As at today, Sandler O’Neill Foundation has been able to fulfil their promises to a great extent. Up to 54 of these 76 children have been catered for by the company. The bank had been able to pay for their tuitions through college. 22 more of these children are waiting in line to be catered for. Those among them that have benefited or are benefiting from the sponsorship program organized by Sandler O’Neill Foundation were and are students at top class colleges across the United States, like technical institutes, community colleges, Notre Same college and so on.
Andy Armstrong is among the brains behind formation of the foundation. However, he is not a member of staff of Sandler O’Neill; he was only a friend to Jimmy Dunne, one of the survivors, who is a partner with Sandler O’Neill. Aside Andy Armstrong, others involved in the foundation formation were competitors to Sandler O’Neill, colleagues and friends of the bank and Jimmy Dunne.
According to Armstrong, “We were up and running by the end of the first week. We wanted the families of the lost to know that we would always remember, that the passing years would never sweep this under the rug. People donated many millions of dollars to set up the foundation. We have no salaries and no expenses except fees to stay extant.”